ATLANTA (WCIA) — The CDC announced on Thursday that it is recommending an updated COVID-19 booster shot to help kids between the ages of 12-18 fight off the Omicron variant.

The updated boosters add spike protein components from the Omicron variant and its subvariants to the vaccine composition. Health officials said this restores the protection that had been reduced by the more-transmissible and immune system-evading variant.

“The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant. They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion. If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”

The CDC expects to recommend updated boosters for other pediatric groups in the coming weeks. CDC officials said that when the Food and Drug Administration authorizes these boosters, they will move quickly to make the boosters available.